It's been around 15 years since Paul Pierce graduated from Inglewood high school. Two Big 12 MVPs at Kansas, the tenth overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft, eight NBA All-Star selections, and an NBA Champion later, and his jersey has finally been retired.
What took them so long?
We here at SB Nation Boston have gone the extra 3,000 miles to bring you the (entirely fictional) story direct from Inglewood.
One PE teacher, preferring to remain anonymous, shed some light on the situation:
For many schools, just getting into a big basketball college like Kansas might be enough. But Inglewood has very high standards. It was only when Paul finally managed to win a championship in 2008 that the wheels really started moving.
Still, there were those who opposed the ceremony, even with the championship season added to Pierce's resume. Laverne Grossel, head of the Inglewood English department and, at 80, the school's oldest and longest tenured instructor had this to say:
I have no doubt that Mr. Pierce is quite the athlete. But let's be honest, it wasn't until Mr. Garnett and Mr. Allen arrived that he was able to finish the job. What kind of message are we sending to our students if we support that kind of dependence in today's world? Kobe won without Shaq just a year later!
Mrs. Grossel then made me spit out my gum.
Those dissenting opinions proved to be in the minority, however, and Pierce's jersey was retired as planned. The number 34 will not be gracing another Inglewood jersey ever again.
As an additional honor to the Celtics captain--nicknamed "the Truth" by now-teammate Shaquille O'Neal--the answer to every true/false question given on quizzes and tests Tuesday was true.